Have you ever sat in a coffee shop or chill restaurant for any length of time? There is something about that atmosphere that drives your creativity and allows you to unwind and focus on a different level than you can at home. Even though there might be some noise about you from lively conversations going on at different tables, it is more of a gentle hum than a distraction, and this setting can be very conducive to productivity if you allow it to be.

These places and the conversations spent over a basic cup of coffee can actually fuel your job search in remarkable ways. Have you recently stopped to think about what is holding you back? Why your job search seems stagnant, or holes in your overall package remain despite your best efforts? Oftentimes the answers to these questions center around just two things, networking and perspective. These two simple yet complex pieces of the job search puzzle can make or break you. By their presence, they can enhance your experience and the joy that you find in seeking a new job. However, if they are absent from what you are doing to secure a better career, then you are likely to be miserable and wandering without focus.

When you have your eye on a better job and more fulfilling career, then you don’t have any time to waste on wandering. You need to be honed in on exactly what you want and exactly what you have to offer this potential hiring manager. Through quality conversation with friends and current or former colleagues, you are able to gain a clearer picture of exactly who you are as an employee and all that your former experience can bring to the table.

By sitting and thinking through your resume alone, you are crippling yourself by narrowing down your perspective to only the inside view. It’s important to have examples to provide for each of your skill sets, times in which you exemplified these characteristics for the benefit of the company and your coworkers. Hearing about your skill set and career accolades from those who were working alongside you enables you to glean from their perspective and create an accurate portrayal of all that you can offer as a potential employee.

Maybe you already have a list of your top skills and achievements. That is a great place to start. But grab a coffee and a friend, and see if he or she can solidify what you have. By reaching out to your people in a relaxed environment and staying connected, you are strengthening your network and fueling your job opportunities in ways that you can’t even imagine!